Rise of Islamophobia attacks on Muslim women in London

Finsbury Park: Muslim Women’s Safety and Hate Crime: 2 December 2015. Islington Councillors: Asima Shaikh, Rakhia Ismail and Alison Blackburn, Anti-Social Behaviour and Hate Crime, Community Safety, Islington Council. Photo by Yee-Liu Williams

Speaking at Muslim Women’s Safety and Hate Crime meeting (2 Dec) at the Andover Community Centre, women from Finsbury Park and Islington voiced their fear that they are being targeted “more than ever” with racial and hate crime.

The meeting was convened following the attempted arson attack at Finsbury Park Mosque, treated by police as a hate crime, on Friday at 8.30pm on 27 November and prevented only because it was raining.

At the weekend, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke at an anti-Islamophobia rally outside Finsbury Park mosque. Corbyn said racist attackers targeting Muslims will not succeed in dividing the community. He told the crowd: “Tonight in Finsbury Park we set an example, unity is our strength.”

Following the Paris atrocities, which Islamic State has claimed responsibility for, police say they have increased patrols around London’s mosques and in areas with large Muslim populations.

London Muslim women are in fear

At the meeting, Councillor Asima Shaikh, Community Development Labour Member for the Finsbury Park Ward and Concillor Rakhia Ismail for Holloway Ward urged local muslim women to come forward and report such incidents:

“We are acutely aware that all areas of hate crime are still under-reported but urge that more people should feel confident to report hate crimes — regardless if this is direct to police or via a third party.”

Asking the community of Islington women as to why they didn’t report such crimes it was evident that there were range of issues from lack of language, culture but above all issues of “trust”.

There were a number of stories and anger against the rhetoric coming from UK politicians and media in recent weeks.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police admitted that reporting of any racial or hate crime should be investigated at a local level but “clearly it was not happening”.

According to the Metropolitan Police, the number of anti-Islamic hate crime incidents in London has tripled in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) figures have revealed 24 Islamophobic attacks were recorded in the week ending Tuesday November 10, rising to 46 during the week which the attacks took place and 76 the first full week after the attacks (the week ending November 24) .

Islamic hate crime recorded by the MPS increased by over 70 per cent between July 2014 and July 2015 (from 478 to 816 cases).

Originally published at westminsterworld.com on December 07, 2015.

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